Raised EU beer taxes = falling revenue

The European brewing sector continues to show signs of recovery but still faces constraints to growth and investment according to The Brewers of Europe in its recently-published 2014 European Beer Statistics.

“Despite a further decline in beer consumption in the EU in 2013 direct employment and exports remained stable, demonstrating that global demand for European beer remains high,” commented Brewers of Europe Secretary General Pierre-Oliver Bergeron, In 2013, the number of active breweries expanded to well over 5,000 and continues to grow, with brewers responding to Europeans’ growing interest in the diversity and variety of beer. The beer sector is also responsible for two million jobs across the entire value chain, with one job in brewing creating one in agriculture, one in packaging and logistics, one in marketing and other services, one in retail and 11 in bars, pubs and restaurants.”

He added,One of the main challenges brewers continue to face is governments looking for short-term solutions to the budget deficit, including through excise duty rises on beer. It is though interesting to note that despite all the tax increases beer excise duty revenues actually dropped in 2013. Thankfully, in 2014 a few countries have taken note of the valuable long-term contribution a thriving beer sector can make to the overall economy, resisting the temptation to increase beer taxes or even cutting them to support a sector that creates jobs.”

While addressing 350 people attending the launch of the European Parliamentary Beer Club, Pierre-Oliver Bergeron stated, “The latest Beer Statistics show that the shoots of recovery are real, but that we need the right regulatory conditions if we are to accelerate progress.

Around 40 MEPs attended the launch of the EP Beer Club, renewed for its fourth parliamentary term with a new President, German MEP Renate Sommer. “Beer has always been part of our rich European culture and it’s of vital importance for our economy,’ stated Renate Sommer at the re-launch, “The European Parliament is committed to do more for economic growth and employment. In order to support our enterprises we need to ensure that European legislation is feasible in practice. This would also support the brewing sector in fulfilling its potential and in successfully continuing its commitment to Europe.”

The Irish members of the EP Beer Club are Brian Hayes and Seán Kelly.

Beer consumption in Europe fell 8% over a five year period 2008 to 2013.

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